A Good Marketing Strategy is just Using Common Sense
Confession time: I don't think I'm a good business person. At least, not in the traditional sense.
I've never created a business plan.
The word "strategy" is not something I use every day.
I don't watch my website analytics like I'm currently watching the 2020 election results.
When it comes to my social media success it's really been a matter of jumping in with both feet and seeing what happens. I take the quote from the children's movie Robots very seriously - "See a need, fill a need." - and so far that strategy (ugh. I hate that word) has never let me down.
That's because we're no longer starting the businesses that generations before have started. In the digital age, sometimes all it takes to start a great business is a good internet connection. The same is true for the marketing it takes to make it successful.
Here is my (non) strategy
When people ask me about strategy, I know they want me to dazzle them with data that tells them if you do THIS + THIS you'll be successful. But the strategy, for lack of a better word, is actually much simpler than that.
Figure out what people are searching for and provide it.
Every element of your marketing should put what people are looking for FIRST. In other words, it's not about you at all. It's about THEM.
Don't believe me?
Back in the day, when I started out blogging and creating websites, we would do everything we could to "hide" keywords in order to kind of trick the Google search engine so that we would come up first. But a few years ago, Google put a stop to that - in fact, they penalized you if you did it.
What did they reward? Good user experience. Blogs, videos, and any information that would help the audience. "Google wants to direct its visitors to what they are looking for. They don’t want to send searchers to sites that don’t answer their questions, are difficult to navigate, and/or have poor quality content." (Source)
That's not to say that SEO isn't important - but again, you have to put yourself in your audience's place: If they were to search for what you do, what would they search for?
We used to have just basic keywords that we would want to include in our blogs and websites, but now we have full phrases (or what's called a "long-tail keyword").
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they're using voice search. They’re a little bit counter-intuitive, at first, but they can be hugely valuable if you know how to use them.
Think about it: If you were searching for a financial planner, you wouldn't just put in "financial planner" anymore would you? You'd get too many results you aren't looking for! These days, we're more specific than that:
small business financial planner
[YOUR AREA] financial planner
financial planner who works with women
financial planner with a cute dog
Okay, maybe I got ahead of myself there (although I do like a cute office dog).
So, what's the answer? Make sure to have phrases throughout your website (and in your blog) that reflect what your potential client is searching for.
(As a side note: A great way to do this is to include a short bio at the bottom of every blog that repeats the phrase you think people are searching for. For example, for all of my clients, I have [THEIR SPECIFIC AREA] financial planner or something like that in a bio that repeats at the bottom of every blog.)
The point is that from what you write to how you post it, stop making yourself crazy. To create great content is simple: Think about what your ideal audience is looking for and provide it. That is the overall strategy you need to embrace. From there, your audience will continue to tell you what they want.
If you post it, they will come.
(That was my digital marketing "Field of Dreams" moment.)